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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28495
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My parakeet Stanley has been sick last two days. s vent is

Customer Question

Hello, my parakeet Stanley has been sick for the last two days. His vent is clean with normal poops. No visual discharges anywhere either. He won't twitter. He's keeping fluffed up. He has flat ledges to sit on and I noticed a couple of times that he used his chest area to lie down on with his feet as well of course. He has been eating but not like normal I give them fresh water daily as well as fresh fruit. He's even weak with his flying to different perches. I'm at a total loss here. I also know its hard to make a diagnosis without seeing him. He's about 4 years old. His mate, June seems to be just fine.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
It's important to note that once a parakeet acts ill they're critically ill and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). This is a protective mechanism because ill birds are attacked by other birds in the wild. His symptoms of fluffing and weakness (using his chest to perch/difficulty flying) are important symptoms but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder.
An avian-oriented vet will first treat symptomatically and supportively by providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes by needle and tube feeding a "recovery" food. Blood tests and cultures of his choana - the slit between his oral cavity and nose - and cloaca (vent) may be taken.
Until he can be attended to, please separate him into a "hospital cage" and heat up his environment to 90F by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. Remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.
Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has his diet consisted of other than seed and fruits, please?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin